The significance of this question is this: Newly appointed Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and Gen. Michael Hayden, the U.S.’s 2nd top intelligence official briefed reporters on the domestic surveillance issue…General Hayden said they didn’t get warrants because it involved paperwork and making arguments (God forbid). He and Gonzales also said that it was of the utmost importance to bypass the legal requirements to obtain warrants because they had to act quickly to handle terrorist threats. When asked the above question they couldn’t answer. They couldn’t claim for expediency because they could act immediately. They couldn’t claim that they didn’t want the warrants to be denied considering that only between 5 to 15 have been denied out of about 19,000.
So the only excuse is that they knew that what they were doing was unjust and ILLEGAL.